Take a break: Accentuating the positive about SA

2008-06-22 00:00

You know things are changing when three separate initiatives are gathering pace in pursuit of a single purpose: that of standing up to the pervasive wail of negativity in South Africa.

In all three instances, communication is network-based and principally through electronic means in a bid to articulate truths less known. Or rather, to speak out positively against the seemingly overwhelming tide of doom and gloom we so happily wallow in.

Awesome South Africa for instance, comprises a broad church of people who do what they can to paint a more complete picture of South Africa. This they do without pandering to banalities and facile platitudes, but by taking a stand and saying enough is enough before changing the current situation to influence the future.

Graham Raynor, CEO of Clifford Welding Solutions, is on a similar mission, but with a slight difference. Being a typical male who loves sport, Raynor’s weekly newsletter contains a fair sprinkling of trivia to gladden the hearts of most sport fans.

We learn for instance that South Africa is home to the world’s largest individually timed cycle race (the Cape Argus Cycle Race), the world’s largest open water swim (the Midmar Mile) and the world’s largest ultra-marathon (the Comrades Marathon) and that since the 1940s, South African golfers have won more golf majors than those of any other nation, apart from the United States.

Not surprisingly, the emigration theme resonates loudly and we learn that current statistics suggest that the country with the highest percentage emigration of its native citizens is England.

Raynor’s point is that while emigration is a common contemporary phenomenon, one should be motivated by new opportunities, and not flight from a perceived threat. And one should be wary of the “greener grass elsewhere” syndrome.

Then there are the efforts of an intrepid woman from Seven Oaks, Taryn Jacobs, who is organising a function that will feature Brendan Grealy. Having seen Grealy's show, which deals with coping with change in South Africa, Jacobs took it upon herself to make sure as many people as possible also see it.

To this end, she is going flat-out to organise the show at Maritzburg College on the evening of July 17. For more information, contact her at runningbear@umvoti.co.za.

Contact Awesome SA at guyanddi@home.vnh.co.za and Raynor at raynorg@cliffeng.com.

Why bother?

IS only Pietermaritzburg afflicted by the no-show syndrome? Why do people accept invitations to functions, and then simply not arrive without an explanation or reason for their absence.

Postal theft

AMAZON.com is no longer prepared to post articles to South Africa on account of rampant theft in the South African postal services. Apparently, no other African country has been blacklisted, making us the worst in Africa.

Metro moans

MUCH has been said about the proposed metropolitan status for the Msunduzi Municipality that is inextricably linked to the fate of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM).

Understandably, there is a fair amount of tension between the two local government entities and it is an abiding irony that the metro move can be said to be the consequence of the UMDM’s abysmal performance over the past five years.

Had it delivered on its mandate, the chances are the status quo would have been maintained and the powers-that–be would have secured their places at the trough. But as things stand now, nothing is certain and even pigs cannot be certain of their swill …

Concert in the Park

THE Concert in the Park has delivered on expectations, again. Thousands of visitors descended on the Botanical Gardens to celebrate another edition of the event that features a variety of musicians performing a diverse selection of music.

Wonderful weather, an appreciative audience and stunning music completed the picture that paid tribute to the musical excellence of talented individuals and groups.

Butchery excellence

LET it not be said that Jeremy Shearer of The Butchery fame doesn’t know what he is talking about. Last week he hosted an evening that highlighted the attractions of the Anura winery near Paarl at The Butchery before going one better to host a gallery of appreciative guests at Concert in the Park.

Both were memorable occasions, if for no other reason than that they represented an opportunity to meet people one may not meet otherwise. So, all things considered, well done Jeremy, and we look forward to the next shindig.

derekalberts@mweb.co.za

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